NC State’s Josh Jones is a big-bodied safety prospect who also features elite speed for the position.
Josh Jones is one of several safety prospects who are looking to come off the board on the second day of the 2017 NFL Draft. He stands out because of his size which allows him to match up against tight ends and bigger receivers.
His impressive 40-time (4.41) at the combine shows the type of top-end speed he also brings to the field. A concern is that he doesn’t always play at full speed which limits the impact of his speed.
NC State used Jones all over the field and in multiple roles. He spent equal time in deep coverage, working in the slot and playing near the line of scrimmage. His different alignments required him to do things such as play zone coverage, man coverage, blitz off the edge and support the run.
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In coverage, Jones shows the ability to match up against bigger targets. His speed allows him to turn and run with just about any offensive weapon.
Jones also features a good short-area burst which allows him to click and close on the football. It’s obvious that Jones has the raw natural skills to succeed at the next level. However, he needs to improve his overall awareness and refine his skills.
The biggest thing that jumps out is that Jones is routinely a step late to the football. He doesn’t quickly recognize developing routes or angles in the running game. Too often, he plays flat footed and is slow to react.
Jones needs to learn how to understand what the offense is trying to do and speed up his reaction time. This is something that can improve with more film study and better coaching.
Another area of concern is that Jones isn’t a big hitter and more of a catcher as a tackler. He waits for the ball carrier to come to him which gives up yards after contact. Jones needs to show more aggressiveness and look to deliver a pop.
His career numbers show someone with solid ball production, but watching the tape speaks a different story. Jones doesn’t necessarily create turnovers but happens to be in the right place at the right time.
Current Draft Range: 4th Round